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48o                  HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP.
path, but in spite of you I am j ustice personified. Thus
I am more just than Noshirwan."
At the present day there is a tendency, more especially
among the " Young Persians," to disparage Nasir-u-Din,
and the fact is adduced that he discouraged the sending
of boys to school in Europe. But it is certain that the
Shah was far ahead of his people, and although his attempts
at reform may not always have been successful, they were
indubitably genuine. Nasir-u-Din, if not exactly a great
Shah, was the best ruler produced by the Kajar dynasty.
The Financial Difficulties of Muzaffar-u~Din.—
Muzaffar-u-Din, the Heir-Apparent, was at Tabriz at the
time of his father's assassination. He was accompanied on
his journey to Teheran by the British and Russian repre-
sentatives. There were fears that his brothers might
fight for the throne, but they hastened to proffer their
allegiance, and the new monarch entered Teheran without
opposition and was crowned in peace.
It was generally believed that Nasir-u-Din had left a
full treasury to his successor ; but upon examination it
was found that little or no money had been saved and the
rumours of hoarded millions were totally unfounded.
The new Shah, whose health was bad, was most anxious
to make a foreign tour almost immediately after his
coronation. He desired more especially to undergo a
cure at Contrex6ville; but doubtless he also wished to
imitate his father's example and enjoy the delights of
Europe. He was also surrounded by a hungry horde of
followers, who mingled with their congratulations strong
hopes of speedy reward for past services. The question
of ways and means was thus one of urgency. Hitherto
Persia had contracted no public debt, and it will always be
remembered against Muzaffar-u-Din that during his reign
this fatal step was taken.
The Russian Bank.—Having described the foundation
of the Imperial Bank of Persia, I must now make a brief
reference to its Russian counterpart and rival, known
first as the Banque des Prfos and now as the Banque
dEscomfte de Perse. Chirol1 in his, valuable work points
1 The Middle Eastern Question, by Sir Valentine Chirol, 1903.